If you have spent a lot of time riding during the winter, you are sure to pick up a pair or two Best winter cycling socks In the market. From there, you’ll likely want to add a pair of Best overshoes for cycling And for some climates a pair of Best winter cycling shoes will be necessary. If you’re driving in cold enough weather, especially if it’s also humid, none of this will be enough.
When you’ve exhausted all options, you’ll find that chemical warmers are the difference between painfully numb toes and relative comfort. Another option though is hot socks. It is a no-nonsense alternative and offers a similar experience. Since there is nothing specific to cycling on the market, we wanted to see if something worked anyway.
Ororo is famous for building a variety of hot clothes. In a sea of unknown brands, she managed to claim quality. With that in mind, we checked the Ororo Sequoia hot sock to see if it matched the claims and how they handled cycling. If you’ve tried everything to keep your feet warm and are wondering about hot socks, keep reading to see what we thought of this option.
Design and Aesthetics
Ororo Sequoia socks are socks and not the kind of fun looking socks you might see on a listing Best summer cycling socks. There are three colors available including black, orange or gray that mix black with the chosen color. Colors tend to be gloomy and unremarkable.
These are utilitarian products, but they have a lot of design features. At first, they definitely break all UCI rules and stop just below the knee. On the outside of each sock there is a pocket where the battery will fit. The pocket is sandwiched between two layers of the sock and the double layer design includes the top of the sock. Under the double layer clutch section, the socks get thicker to match the upper double layer.
Inside the battery pocket is an L-shaped plug. On one side, it connects to the battery while the other connects to a fabric-covered wire. The wire travels down the outside of the leg into a channel that prevents it from moving. Near the heel it begins to curve around the outside of the foot until it points downward and connects to the heating element in the forefoot.
The actual heating element is a long piece of wire. Turn the socks inside out and you can easily see them zigzagging back and forth inside the protective pocket. The area they cover begins just behind the ball of the foot and ends behind the cushion of the toes.
The battery is a lithium-ion unit with a capacity of 3250 mAh that also houses all smart devices. When you attach the battery to the sock, it will turn on at the highest setting, then after five minutes it will drop to medium. There is a small LED indicator that lights up red, white, or blue to indicate the high, medium, and low settings. Press the single button to cycle through modes or hold to turn it off. Advertised run times are five hours on high, seven hours on average, and 10 hours on the low heat setting. Next to the LED that indicates the mode is a series of three LEDs that indicate the remaining battery.
The first thing I recommend is plugging in the new batteries when you get them. I didn’t immediately experience dead batteries on my first ride with the Ororo Sequoia socks. The instructions say this but I was sure the battery indicator was full. In this case, following the directions seems to be a wise choice. It is charged via USB and comes with a micro USB cable in a Y shape that makes it easy to charge two batteries at the same time.
Once they’re ready to use, there’s a bit of a process involved in getting them. The cable that connects the battery to the heating element is able to move inside the duct that houses it. If you pull from the top of the sock, the cable will move and it always looks like something is going to break. Instead, slide the sock up slowly from the bottom. When you’ve put everything in place, do what you can to make the heating element sit a little more forward, if like me you’re more concerned about your toes.
When I started this review process, I asked how they would handle a rainy day on the bike. The answer was that the battery should be kept dry and that a rainy day might not be the best use. So of course, the first thing I did was use it on a rainy day.
Ororo Sequoia socks are washable. This means that all wires are waterproof and that it is the battery that needs to be kept dry. If you have hardwearing waterproof pants for riding, the battery will stay dry and have worked well so far even when the bottom of the sock is completely wet. Just make sure the battery and contact remain completely dry.
The day before this comment was written, I spent about nine hours, just over seven hours moving, outside covering 100 miles. The temperature ranged from 30F/-1C to 35F/2C and it rained all day. When the light was fading, I climbed to a height of 1000 feet / 300 meters where I felt a massive snowfall. For the first seven hours of the flight, I kept the Ororo socks average, and even though my feet were wet, and the temperature very low, my toes were never sore.
Don’t expect much heat. Although the temperature rating claims to be 131°F/55°C for the medium setting, I felt very similar to chemical hot hand warmers. This product claims to average 99F/37C but in use, the two feel the same. It’s warm enough to keep out the cold, and noticeable, but not enough to feel like a heater on your feet.
Ororo Sequoia’s knee-length design creates a challenge in the cycling environment. It is difficult to reach below the lower cuff of most tights and raise the knee to knee level. The design makes it impossible to change batteries. Also, the low setting is too low to use. This means that you really want to expect a maximum usable runtime of seven hours. If this suits you on your coldest trip, these heated socks are an excellent choice.
Technical Specifications: Ororo Sequoia Heated Socks
- the price: £69.99 / $99.99
- Operating times: 5 hours on high, 7 hours on medium, 10 hours on low heating
- battery capacity: 3250 mAh
- Available sizes: S, M, L
- Available colors: Black, orange, gray
- Weight: One sock with a battery of medium size 136g